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Maine Couple Wins 2016 North American Wife Carrying Championship at Sunday River Resort

Elliot and Giana Storey of Westbrook, Maine win title, 11 cases of beer, and $665. Couple Also wins Clydesdale division with a combined weight of more than 350 pounds

October 8, 2016

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Newry, Maine (Oct. 8, 2016)—Elliot and Giana Storey of Westbrook, Maine competed against 43 other couples to win today's 17th Annual North American Wife Carrying Championship. This is the couple's fourth time competing in this championship event and their first time ever winning it. Their winning time was 59.18 seconds.

In addition to winning the 2016 North American Wife Carrying Championship title, the Storeys will bring home 11 cases of Goose Island Octoberfest beer, five times Giana's weight in cash ($665), and because their combined weight was more than 350 pounds, they'll also take home medals for winning the championship's Clydesdale division.

Additionally, all North American Wife Carrying Champions qualify for the World Wife Carrying Championship event, which takes place in Finland each summer. 

Second place finishers, Jake and Kristin Barney of Lexington, Virginia remained close on the Storeys heels, crossing the finish line in 1 minute and 2.81 seconds. The Barneys also happen to be the 2016 Wyoming Wife Carrying Champions. Winning this regionally sanctioned event back in June qualified the couple for today's North American Championship.

Built to international specifications, the North American Wife Carrying Championship course is 278 yards in length, with two dry obstacles, and one water obstacle often referred to as the "widow maker." Couples do not need to be married to compete, but they do need to be comprised of a man and woman, both of whom need to be over the age of 21. Choice of carry and who carries who is up to the couple.

The North American race format varies slightly from Finland's World Championship in that there is no minimum weight limit for the wife, and the "man and wife" pair must both be 21 years old. Additionally, the winning couple is determined by a head-to-head final race between the top two fastest couples, rather than determined by the top finishing time in the initial round. Choice of hold is left to the couple, who often use the Estonian Carry, where the wife is held in an upside down piggyback. Helmets are not required.

Based on the 19th century Finnish legend, wife-carrying became a sport as a result of men stealing wives from neighboring villages as means to prove their worth and strength to famed henchman, Herkko Ronkainen, also known as Ronkainen the Robber. Men who were able to carry their stolen wives in the wilderness, over stones, stumps, fences and springs, were accepted into Ronkainen's privileged group of thieves.

For more information on the annual North American Wife Carrying Championship at Sunday River, please contact Darcy Lambert at 207-824-5243 or You may also visit

About Sunday River Resort
A four-season destination, Sunday River Resort is home to eight interconnected mountain peaks of world-class skiing and snowboarding. The resort includes 135 trails and 6 terrain parks on 870 skiable acres and the most slopeside lodging in the East: Two Resort Hotels, the Snow Cap Inn, Ski Dorm, and hundreds of condominiums. Sunday River is a member of the Boyne Resorts family of resorts and attractions and is located in Newry, Maine, amidst the scenic Mahoosuc Range.

About the North American Wife Carrying Championship
The North American Wife Carrying Championship was founded in 1999 at Sunday River Resort in Maine and has been held annually in mid-October at this location ever since. The North American Championship holds registration spots open for winners of any sanctioned state, provincial, or regional wife carrying events, and provides entry to these competitors at no cost, then opens any remaining spots for public registration. The winning team brings home the wife's weight in beer and five times her weight in cash. More information at